LATEST NEWS/BLOG:

July 2013: NEWS

A tribute to Walter Hogg

On Tuesday 16th July 2013, the band said goodbye to ex 14th Eastleigh Group Scout Leader and the band's founder, Walter "Bosun" Hogg. The funeral was attended by the Bandmasters, Ian Cole, Ian West and Tony Cole, and three members of the Corps of Drums, led by Director of Music, Greg Walker. The Corps of Drums escorted the procession to the Crematorium and also sounded the Last Post. What better occasion to play the brand new side drums in public for the first time.

July 2013: BLOG

Carnival Season

The middle of July sees the band end it's Carnival season for the Summer Break - with only one left this year - the Eastleigh Mardi Gras on Saturday 14th September. A relatively quiet season compared to previous years, due to the band's busy schedule, with the band leading West End and Fair Oak Carnival, and also bringing up the rear ("Best 'til last") at Lymington Carnival.

 

April 2013: BLOG

Quiz Night

On Saturday 27th April the band held a fundraising quiz night, attended by around 80 supporters. We are delighted to announce that the evening raised just over £500 for band funds, and a big well done to the winning team "This is nice Pizza" which included the Director of Music and Assistant Bandmaster - not a fix!

St George's Day Parades

As with every year, the band has been very busy in April, performing in 3 St George's Day parades - Eastleigh, Chandler's Ford and Winchester. The band was well received at all 3 events, and hopes to increase recruitment as a result of some local exposure!

March 2013: BLOG

Band Musician Badges

The band have just announced their new badge scheme, which is completely unique to any other Scout and Guide Band in the country. Originally an idea to increase recruitment by creating band badges to wear on section uniforms, the idea soon developed into a much more complex concept.

As a result, the band have released 8 different coloured staged badges, along with their very own 'syllabus' created by the Director and Deputy Directors of Music. As the Scout Musician stage badges are often easy to gain for some our accomplished musicians, the Spitfires badges give musicians more to aim for within achievable stages. For example, members of our Merlins Training Band can easily achieve Level 1 badges before they leave, ranging to level 7 and 8 where section leadership and responsibility is rewarded.

The badge syllabus covers 8 different areas, from Drill and Deportment within the Marching Band and performance within the Concert Band to Aural Tests and Scales.

(an example of our new badges - designed by Ian Lock)

Band Camp 2013

The band have recently returned from spending Easter weekend away at Lyon's Copse in Shedfield at our annual Band Training Weekend. The main activities were of course musical, with considerable practice in sectionals, the Concert Band and Marching Band. However the band did get some down time and were able to enjoy Archery, lots of wide games, hand bell ringing and even an Easter Egg hunt on Easter Sunday morning! A particular achievement and highlight for many band members was cooking their own dinner on a BBQ..... without any food poisoning!

March 2013: NEWS

Drum Major Appointments

The band are delighted to announce two new appointments within the band:

Senior Drum Major: Musician Bradley Hill

Deputy Drum Major: Musician Emma Thompson

February 2013: BLOG

Concert at All Saints' Church Botley

On Saturday 16th February, the band performed at All Saints' Church in Botley as part of their "Music 2013" programme. The concert was attended by over 200 people, and included the debur public performance of the Spitfires Dance Band - who stole the show!

Some highlights of the concert can be seen on YouTube here.

December 2012: BLOG

Christmas Season and Annual Awards Ceremony

The band have enjoyed a busy Christmas period, with 6 engagements alone in December. The year concluded with our annual Awards evening and Christmas social. Highlights of our Awards Ceremony were the presentations of the 'Spitfire Sparkle' trophy to musician Jamie Stone, and the 'Director of Music's Musician of the Year' new trophy to principal clarinettist Emma Thompson.

July 2012: BLOG

Summer Carnivals

The band have completed their usual busy summer season of Carnivals, the highlights being great performances in Woodley, Farnham and Lymington. We are already booking up fast for Carnivals in 2013!

May 2012: BLOG

Band Camp

18th - 20th May saw the band go away for their annual 'band camp'. Spending the weekend at Lyons Lodge in Shedfield, the itenarary consisted of rehearsal and sectional time split up with other activities such as archery, adventure courses, wide games and more!

The highlight of the weekend for many was the Saturday evening workshop run by Alex from the "Showcase Percussion Association". Alex led a fun and inspirational workshop using Junk Percussion, which was enjoyed by all!

Here's to the next one!

 

April 2012: BLOG

National St George's Day Parade - Windsor

On Sunday 29th April the band travelled by coach to Windsor for another wet outing for the national St George's Day parade in Windsor, parading the Queen Scouts in front of this year's dignitaries, including HM the Queen, HRH Duke of Edinburgh and the Chief Scout, Bear Grylls.

After the rain threatened to make the Quadrangle grass too slippery, the band were given the go ahead for a 20 minute display to friends and family of the Queen Scout holders. This was then followed by the band leading the parade of Queen Scouts from all over the Commonwealth around the Quadrangle in front of HM the Queen, and then down to St George's Chapel for the service. After the service, the band again led the whole parade out of Windsor Castle to huge appreciative crowds.

Eastleigh and Chandlers Ford St George's Day Parades

On Sunday 22nd April, the band paraded in both Eastleigh District and Chandler's Ford District Scout St George's Day Parades. After a week of awful weather, Eastleigh District were extremely lucky with a dry parade. A band of 38 lead the parade round the streets of Eastleigh before marching the District onto the Recreation Ground for a short service and renewal of promises.

You can see some videos of the band exiting the school playing "Sarie Marais" here, playing "World in Union" for the collection of flags here, and "How to Train Your Dragon" for the returning of flags and here.

The afternoon parade in Chandler's Ford was unfortunately not so lucky with the weather. Just as the band marched into Merdon Junior School, the rain came down and the decision to head straight to the church was made. After arriving at the church, most of the band ended up drying their shirts under the hand dryers and huddling up to the radiators after getting soaking wet! However the rain eased and the band were able to parade back from the church with Chandler's Ford District.

Some clips of the Chandler's Ford parade can be seen here and here.

March 2012: BLOG

Craig Blundell Drum Workshops

(The drum section with Craig Blundell and Director of Music, Greg Walker)

The drum section have just finished their second session with renowned percussion educator Craig Blundell, and it was even better than the first! Craig took the section right back to basics before building up various techniques and ideas that the drummers can use to create their own features and statics. The band are looking forward to working again with Craig later on in the year.

You can see part of what the drum section is getting up to with a sneak peek on YouTube here. For more information on Craig Blundell - you can visit his website: http://www.craigblundell.net

 

March 2012: NEWS

"Scout and Guide Fanfare launches Musical Alphabet Weekend"

‘F’ for fanfare, played by the 14th Eastleigh Scout and Guide Band, launched the 26 hour Southampton Musical Alphabet on Saturday at the City’s Guildhall Square. The Scout and Guide Band could have claimed ‘M’ for Marching, ‘C’ for Concert or ‘B’ for band, but as their performance started the whole weekend celebrations, it had to be ‘A’ for Awesome!

With the world premiere of this fanfare entitled "Olympic Flourish" composed by Director of Music Greg Walker, this talented band of Scouting and Guiding musicians followed the fanfare with an outdoor concert and then thirty minutes of live music on the march. With a busy few weeks ahead of them, "The Spitfires" will be entertaining H.M. The Queen and Prince Philip at Windsor Castle on April 29th for the national St Georges Day parade of Queen Scouts from all over the United Kingdom. A clip of the Fanfare can be found on YouTube here.

The 14th Eastleigh Scout and Guide Bands weekend performance heralded the start of this City celebration, part of ‘Music Nation’ – a national countdown to the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

November 2011: NEWS

The 14th Eastleigh Scout and Guide Band, "The Spitfires", have been selected to play at the 2012 National St. Georges Day Parade in Windsor Castle.
The band has been asked to accompany the Band of the Welsh Guards in parading the 800 recipients of Queen's Scout Awards into the Quadrangle in Windsor Castle, where they will be reviewed by the invited guests.


Greg Walker, Director of Music, told us “This is a great honour for the band to be asked to play at such a high profile event. This opportunity is recognition of all the hard work that everybody involved with the band has put in over many years.”


Whilst every St. Georges Day is special to the Queens Scouts who attend, 2012 is a very important one, as it also falls in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee year.

August 2011: Blog

Bandmember Harvey Parsons on his first outing with the band: "A Day at the Races"

I play trombone in a band called The Spitfires. On Saturday 13th August I got up at 7.30, Dad took me to Spitfires HQ where we met all the other members who were playing that day. We squished like sardines into the mini bus and headed off. When we arrived at Thruxton Race track I was so pleased to be out of the minibus that I ran up the high bank to get a peek of the race track and the vehicles racing.

Once we were in our uniforms and about to play I felt very scared as this was my first trip out with the band. For the second performance my confidence had grown and I thought to myself “Oh cool, this is awesome!” We played my 3 favourite songs; Instant Concert, Pep Rally Rock and Louie, Louie. This made the whole thing much more enjoyable. People stopped to watch our performances and they applauded. This made me feel happy and very proud.

It was a great place to play our music because I got to see loads of cars, big rides, pic ‘n mix stalls and Lorry cab racing. The lorry cabs and the mini’s were best, especially the mini called Harvey. I also really enjoyed the free tea and hot chocolate. We got back to HQ at 5.00. I was exhausted at the end of the day but really glad I went.  

January 2011: Blog

The band returned to Warner's Bembridge, IOW this January at the request of Angela Holidays for their member's weekend. The band played a set of music based around the weekend's theme of "Best of British", which included World War singalongs and ended in a rousing singalong of patriotic favourites like "Land of Hope and Glory" and "Jerusalem"

November 2010: NEWS

The Spitfires launch their first CD

This Thursday evening sees a momentous moment in the history of the 14th Eastleigh Scout and Guide Band, with the launch of their first CD recording. The album, entitled 'By Request' features eleven tracks and will be raising funds for a variety of charities.

The launch party on Thursday will see Civic Dignitaries including the Deputy Mayor of Eastleigh, Scouting and Guiding representatives from County and District level, County representatives from the Royal British Legion plus the Family and Friends of the band listening to some tracks from the CD for the first time.

Recording was done back in September, when the Band assembled in the Scout HQ turned Recording Studio for two days of intense music playing. The Director of Music, Greg Walker, had arranged for a commercial organisation, Dr Jekyl Mobile Recording Ltd, to transform the hall with multiple microphones and metres of cable into a modern recording studio.

Tracks on the album include popular marches, hits from the musicals, tunes from the big band era and also puts the spotlight on 'The Merlins' ensemble. All of the repertoire was chosen to show of ability the skill of the band, as well as a few favourites.

The first chosen supported charity will see proceeds from sales of the CD going to the Royal British Legion. Greg says "Because of our affiliation with the Royal British Legion in Eastleigh, and launching the CD in November, it seemed only right that we donate a portion of the money to their Poppy Appeal 2010."

 

October 2010: NEWS

After an extremely busy summer of carnivals and practicing, the band are pleased to announce the release of their new CD - "By Request" - due for release on 25th November 2010. The CD was recorded live on Sunday 5th September at our Headquarters in Allbrook by Dr Jekyl Mobile Recording. If you would like to pre-order a copy, please email the Director of Music.

 

May 2009: NEWS

The 14th Eastleigh Scout and Guide Band (The Spitfires) gave a concert at St Peter's Church in Bishop's Waltham on Saturday and was rewarded with a handsome cheque.

The Hampshire band was the latest project in Eastleigh to receive money from O2's It's Your Community programme. The band, which was awarded £1,000 in the cultural category, plans to use the cash to buy additional musical scores.

Formed back in 1968, as a traditional drum and trumpet marching band, it has developed into one of the top Scout and Guide youth concert and military style bands in the UK. It prides itself on its wide and inclusive membership and loans out instruments to disadvantaged youngsters.

"This money means we can buy some new music for when we go out and play this year."

Band members do not need any previous musical experience and many of its members have gone on to become professional musicians and teachers.

Greg Walker, the band's musical director, said: "We are delighted to have been recognised with this award. The Spitfires strive really hard to improve themselves but without additional musical scores, which can cost up to £50 each, they can't expand, compete in national competitions or increase their repertoire for the benefit of the many charities they support by giving fundraising concerts.

"The success of this band is testament to the hard work and dedication of its members and volunteers."

Tim Auld from O2 added: "This is a fantastic project and I'm delighted It's Your Community has been able to get involved. The culture category was created to benefit projects just like Spitfires Music Project ."

The Spitfires weren't the only ones to benefit from Saturday's concert, which was organised to raise funds for Hampshire-based charity Friends of Teso (www.friends-of-teso-uganda.org.uk), which sends shipments of much-needed goods to the Teso district of Uganda.

Pat Morris, one of the organisation's co-founders said: "We raised over £300. The band was wonderful and the venue was a great success. It was the first time it had been used to host a concert and everyone was so professional. The scouts have previously provided musical instruments, tents and bicycles for our shipments so it was great to see them in action."

The band will be in action again in July when they will play for shoppers in Eastleigh town centre in a bid to raise awareness of the need for more Scout leaders in the area. The shortage means there are currently more than 100 young people on the waiting list. For more information or to volunteer your services go to www.14thspitfires.co.uk.

 

Christmas 2008:

The Spitfires have had a very busy Christmas period, playing in private concerts and local church carol services, not forgetting playing through Eastleigh in the Winter Carnival, and are now all carol-ed out!

Our 2008 annual awards ceremony saw a number of members gain recognition for their contribution to the band during the year, and the Percussion section won the best section of 2008 for all their hard work.

The band are looking forward to a busy 2009 with lots of big events to look forward to.

October 2008:

"Spitfires celebrate 40 years…"

17th October saw the pinnacle of The Spitfires musical history, when they sold out The Point with guests and friends to celebrate their 40th Anniversary. The band welcomed the Mayor and Mayoress of Eastleigh, Chris Huhne (MP for Eastleigh) and Wayne Bulpitt, Chief Commissioner for England plus other dignitaries from the Scouts, Guides and Royal British Legion, to who the Band have been affiliated.

Formed in 1968, The Spitfires Scout & Guide Band has been providing musical entertainment to the residents of Eastleigh and further afield for 40 years. Starting with just £50 worth of second-hand instruments, the band has grown to be over 40-strong.

Friday’s concert featured a wide repertoire of music from traditional marches such as Colonel Bogey and Swing March through to the likes of Abba, The Beatles and the film “Grease!”. As well as concerts, the band can always be seen out in local Carnivals and Parades, particularly around St. Georges Day and Remembrance Day.

The band welcomes anyone within the Scout and Guide movement who would like to play an instrument with a group of like-minded young people.

The band recently opened a new website (www.14thspitfires.co.uk) for people to keep in touch with the Band, and to find out about future events. The band’s next public engagement is The Autumn Fayre at St. Boniface Church, followed by the annual Remembrance Parade. To finish off the year, they will be helping to turn on Eastleigh’s Christmas lights and playing many carol concerts in the local area.

September 2008:

New Website now up and running!